New judge named in sexual assault lawsuit vs. Vin Diesel
LOS ANGELES – A judge has granted a request by Vin Diesel and his co-defendants to step aside in favor of a new bench officer in a suit by a former assistant who accuses the action star of sexually assaulting her in an Atlanta hotel room in 2010.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Colin Leis ruled Thursday that the challenge filed by Diesel, his sister, Samantha Vincent and two Diesel companies, One Race Films Inc. and One Race Productions Inc., alleging the judge was prejudiced against them was timely filed. Vincent is an officer and supervisor with the firms.
The case was reassigned to Judge Daniel Crowley. The defendants were not required to state their grounds for believing Leis was biased against them.
An attorney for Diesel previously issued a statement regarding the suit in which he said the actor “categorically denies” all of the claims of the woman, who says she was hired in September 2010 to work as an assistant for Diesel while he was filming “Fast Five” as part of the “Fast & Furious” film series.
According to the lawsuit brought Dec. 21, the plaintiff was working one night in Atlanta when Diesel, now 56, was entertaining several women in his suite at the St. Regis hotel. The woman said she was present primarily to ensure no photos were being taken of the actor, but also “so the women felt more comfortable.”
The lawsuit claims that when all of the women left, Diesel forcibly grabbed the plaintiff, groped her chest and kissed her. The plaintiff resisted his advances, but he “ignored” her protestations, the complaint further states.
“Vin Diesel then escalated his assault, groped her body, dropped to his knees and pushed (the plaintiff’s) dress up, groped her legs and attempted to pull down (her) underwear,” according to the lawsuit.
The woman screamed and ran toward a bathroom, the suit contends, but
Diesel followed her, pinned her against a wall and began masturbating while
leaning against her, the lawsuit contends.
The pair eventually left the hotel, but “mere hours later,” the plaintiff received a phone call informing her that she had been fired, a move the suit contends was retaliation for her “courageously resisting Vin Diesel’s sexual assault.”
The lawsuit contends that the plaintiff remained silent for years, “afraid to speak out against one of the world’s highest-grossing actors,” but she came forward following the #MeToo movement and legislation extending the statute of limitations on sex assault claims. (CNS)